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Help Npower have us where they want us!

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Please take time to read this it may happen to you or if it has please get in touch IT'S JUST NOT FAIR.
We are having trouble with Npower even though we are totally in the right and they admit to problems being their fault. This is a brief breakdown of our troubles.We want to move to another supplier but with this over our heads surely we can't.
AN IDEAS?:confused:

ROUGH CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER OF EVENTS as at 21.10.08

Dec’07 – Jan ‘08
I request a standard meter rather than pay as you go meter
I ask Npower to calculate monthly repayments for me and set up direct debit.
This is calculated at £57.00 a month and is put in place.
Npower send engineer to replace smart card meter with standard meter.
Engineer asks if we have night storage and when I say yes he tells me that he has been
Given incorrect details for meter to be fitted and will fit with suitable meter.

First statement (not to hand) shows a small credit balance.
I contact Npower and query why a credit balance is showing and can I therefore receive reimbursement for it.
I am told that the account needs to be looked at as it seems incorrect.
I hear nothing.

April ‘08
Statement shows a greater value in credit. (I think approx £88.00)
I again contact Npower to request a cheque in reimbursement and am told the same.
I make it clear that I am not happy and insist that someone contact me before the end of the day…. No further contact was made.

August ‘08
Statement received showing £79.24 in credit.
And reduces my payments to £37.00 a month.
Speak to ****** in customer service and advise him that we don’t think we are on Economy 7 he confirms this is true and will correct the situation .
He requests an up to date reading from the meter which we give him.
We are advised that a true statement of our account will be with us in three weeks.

Oct’08
Statement received based upon readings now showing us £361.65in credit..
I request payment without delay and am promised by ***** this amount will be paid into my bank account by 10th Oct. Which it was.

Approx 13th Oct…. receive call from **** telling me it is all a huge error on the part of Npower and we now actually owe them in region of £900.00.
I make it very clear that I am unhappy with the way in which we have been dealt with and am told that whilst Npower admit to the error and will be willing to consider some action of good will we do need to repay a large portion of the “arrears” that are not of our own making.
It is explained to me that whilst Npower have being taking Direct debits from my bank they have not been allocating them against any usage of electricity.
Hence their bills / statements have not been making any sense.

We are told to give up to date reading AGAIN and the matter will be recalculated. In an effort to show my goodwill I email **** an instruction to increase Direct Debit to £80.00 and await their comments.

Comments

  • Premier_2
    Premier_2 Posts: 15,141 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
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    What's the problem? :confused:

    If nPower have been taking money and allocating it to the wrong account, you will be easily be able to prove they have taken the money by your bank records. Talk to nPower.

    If nPower have been taking insufficient funds to pay for your consumption, you'll have to pay for what you have consumed.

    Just because nPower have made an error does not mean you are entitled to free energy for the past year. They have offered a small goodwill gesture for their error, now reciprocate that goodwill by paying what you owe them.
    "Now to trolling as a concept. .... Personally, I've always found it a little sad that people choose to spend such a large proportion of their lives in this way but they do, and we have to deal with it." - MSE Forum Manager 6th July 2010
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,042 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
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    Firstly, you don't seem to understand the principle of payment by Direct Debit.(DD)

    Companies give a discount or cheaper tariff for payment by DD because it reduces their workload on the account.

    So you will expect to be in credit some of the year and/or in debit part of the year. So you cannot expect to be repaid every time you are in credit. After a few months they have a better idea of your consumption and will adjust the DD up or down.

    Obviously NPower have messed up your account, which sadly is not unusual for new customers in all companies.

    Paying £57 a month from Jan, reducing to £37 a month,(less than £400 in total) I fail to understand why you feel that a credit balance of £361 will have built up and should be paid to you(which it was); you must have appreciated it was an error.

    However the bottom line is that you owe £900 for electricty and the refund paid to you in error.(£539 + £361?)

    It is normal in this situation that a company will make a goodwill payment of perhaps 10% -20%. They will normally let you pay back the money you owe over 12 months.

    Bear in mind that you haven't lost any money, just been 'messed about' and will be in pocket for their error.

    If you indicate you intend to leave NPower your goodwill payment is likely to be less!! and you will obviously have to pay back what you owe before you can move.

    Whilst annoying, in the grand scheme of things, it is no big deal; there are far worse horror stories on MSE all the time.

    What do you think it "is just not fair"? I have no liking for NPower, but it seems to me that they have admitted their mistake and are treating you very fairly.
  • ricky9
    ricky9 Posts: 141 Forumite
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    Npower send engineer to replace smart card meter with standard meter.
    Engineer asks if we have night storage and when I say yes he tells me that he has been
    Given incorrect details for meter to be fitted and will fit with suitable meter.

    Speak to ****** in customer service and advise him that we don’t think we are on Economy 7 he confirms this is true and will correct the situation .
    He requests an up to date reading from the meter which we give him.
    We are advised that a true statement of our account will be with us in three weeks.

    This is a bit muddled as you say that the Engineer asks if we have night storage
    This will be
    Economy 7.

    And is more expensive.


  • postiepete
    Options
    I do se what your saying honestly but I have asked them on numerous occasions to finalise the matter and bill me accordingly. They have failed to do this whilst I was under the impression thatmy DD payments were more or less going towards my account. Instead they were not being allocated to anything. I asked tiem and again if they were sure of what they were telling me and met with confusion. yes I expected an error on their part but no to the tune of £900.:mad: The back up info with each staement made no sense and on calling them they were as confused as me.:confused:
  • postiepete
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    But my query is that I hae tried to get Npower to address the problem over and over again to no avail. i was happy to accept economy 7 tarrif but it should have been within the monthly DD I was quoted....And if that is RICKY that I have spoken to let it be known please?
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,042 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
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    They simply haven't made a £900 error as you state.

    You have used £xx of electricity.

    You have wrongly requested(and unbelievably received) an unjustified £361 rebate.

    You will eventually pay for the electricity you have used and pay back that rebate.

    You will get a goodwill payment for the confusion.

    You are not in any way out of pocket.
  • notbritishgas
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    One thing does not add up here. You say that your Direct debit payments were not credited to your account, if so how did you manage to build up such a high credit balance?
  • WhistleBlower
    Options
    When you say that they didn't credit it onto your account what exactly do you mean?

    It was put on another account? Your gas mayeb? The payments vanished? In which case how are they showing on your account.

    What seems most likely to me is that they had an AQ (Account query) in place on your account to fic the issue with the meters which can take some time to complete, i'm sorry but that's how they work. In the meantime your DD came out of your bank account and built up to show on the account.

    You requested your refund.

    The meter issue and rebill was finished and the balance cleared for release to you and because you took back the payments you'd already made then you suddenly had the whole thing to pay instead of the five hundred and odd that would have been had you lef the money there.

    Thing is, if a payment comes in, onto the account and shows as a credit then it has been credited to the account, you can see it on there!
  • mumonabudget
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    Im right with you about frustrstion of NPower NOT ADRESSING PROBLEMS
    My electric account is £300 + in DEBIT because they failed to take their DD instalements from our account.

    They had me down as a prepayment meter customer when we were DD customers!!

    THEY DO NOT LISTEN despite letters and phone calls!

    I got my local C.A.B involved 2 months ago and they ignored them too!

    Im moving next month, stuff em!!! THey can have £5 a week to pay it off - Im on a low income they get away with murder as legally, we have benefited from electric, we have to clear the debt, they should be investigated by the government more - leaving people in fuel povery cos they cant be bothered doing their jobs properly.

    Customer Service does not exist in fuel companies!!!

    :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
  • WhistleBlower
    Options
    NPower customer services are crap....personally i hate them.

    Again, the problem will be an AQ, but in this case it's that they din't bother actually raising it in the first place.

    It's easy and fast to raise an incorrect tarriff query and i've done it myself befor (i'm not even in customer services)

    (the PP label on the acc will also prevent DD's being taken, sorry)

    To be fair it often isn't a case of them not being bothered but more that management are so concerned with numbers, and stats and figures that if the call takes longer than six minutes (or it might be seven, i forget but i'll ask tomorrow) then the advisor will get into trouble, if you handling time stays over for too long you will end up disciplined and fired...the poor advisors are pushed so hard that they do and say anything to end the call.

    I'm not saying that's an excuse, but it is a reason, drives the rest of us batty cos we have to fix the problems, it's screwing the company out of money/time which they pass to the customer (of course) and it screws our reputation too.
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